COVID-19 Support

Business meeting flipchart

Over the upcoming weeks, we will be updating this page with weekly updates and guidance, as well as the steps we're putting in place to fully support your business.

We Care

We understand the concern that this new scenario is bringing. As our business partners, valuable customers and long-standing friends, we want to do all we can to support you during this time. We are very aware of how the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the UK is already impacting you, including decline in patient visits, potential restriction in clinic openings plus the unpredictable impact of absenteeism as people stay at home to remain healthy, and protect others.

Over the upcoming weeks, we will be updating this page with weekly updates and guidance, as well as the steps we're putting in place to fully support your business. 

Help Your Clients Connect Wirelessly to Media Devices

As the majority of the population are now being asked to stay at home, watching TV or listening to music will become an increasingly popular past time. Sometimes wearing hearing aids alone aren't enough to give clients the volume they want from television, especially if background noise is often present.

The introduction of an assistive listening device, such as Phonak’s TV Connector, has several advantages over turning up the overall volume...

• It will send the signal directly to hearing aids, minimizing the interference of background noise in the room

• The direct delivery of the high-quality sound improves the overall clarity

• The hearing aid user can operate the volume independently of that being produced by the television or stereo’s speakers

• Households with different degrees of hearing ability can enjoy television or music together

The TV Connector is a simple plug and play interface to TV’s and other audio sources, supporting the direct connectivity of Phonak Audéo Marvel and Audéo B-Direct hearing aids. It is designed to simplify the setup and usage. It’s just like using wireless headphones. With AirStream™ technology it delivers top rated sound quality streaming from any TV and stereo system¹. The TV Connector can simultaneously stream audio signals up to 15 meters to an unlimited amount of connected hearing aids.

Clients can instantly enjoy high-quality stereo sound, wirelessly through their hearing instruments, so the volume is comfortable for everyone. And it works with laptops and tablets too!

If you have a client who may be interested in a TV Connector you can place an order with our Customer Services team and we will ship the device directly to their home address.

Maximising Online Learning During COVID-19

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is changing business, work and life as we know it. It could be one of the most significant events of the decade and, as much as we want to get back to the practice and carry on with our normal working lives, it seems that many of us will be stuck at home for some downtime.

Take this opportunity to pick up new skills, learn that new marketing component you kept postponing for different reasons or simply expand your knowledge from the comfort of your home. Learning new skills online is without a doubt a constructive way to cope with the current self-isolation and learn expertise that’ll help grow your current business when Government restrictions are lifted.

Here is a list of the some of the best online learning platforms you can explore to brush up on your skills during this downtime.

Google Digital Garage

The Google Digital Garage project was launched to enable anyone to learn the fundamentals of online marketing so that they can take their business online and enjoy all the benefits, regardless of their skills or background. The free online learning platform delivers a full digital skills course, using relatable examples of how different types of small businesses can use digital channels in different ways. Upon completion of the online course, learners will then receive a certificate endorsed by Google and the IAB Europe.

Udemy

Udemy offers something for everyone, from business development, finance and accounting, to design, marketing and office productivity. Udemy allows you to pick and choose the topics you are interested in, rather than committing yourself to a strict lesson plan, which makes this educational platform extremely flexible and user-friendly. Besides, Udemy is offering numerous free courses for the quarantine period.

Skillshare

Covering every imaginable topic, Skillshare includes courses on a large number of technical subjects, business and entrepreneurship, programming, but also writing, painting, personal branding and other creative topics. Skillshare works on a subscription model, which translates into a monthly or yearly fee allowing you to dive into a wide range of skills.

Coursera

An extremely popular platform, Coursera is well-known for its value and prestige as it collaborates with top universities around the world who are responsible for developing the courses. While many Coursera courses are accessible completely free of charge, you’ll still have to pay if you want to receive the official Coursera accreditation.

FutureLearn

This UK-based learning platform offers a top selection of online degrees and free certification courses, available on mobile, tablet or desktop. Owned by The Open University, the platform aims to connect learners from all over the globe with their tutors. Joining the platform is completely free of charge as are most courses.However, if you want to get a certificate at the end of the course, you’ll have to pay a certain fee, which will also allow you to download and store the course materials.

Phonak eAudiology Series - Session No.3 - Digital Transformation

The third of our 12 part eAudiology webinar series, hosted by Francois Julita, explores how digital transformation is happening in all industries and is especially changing healthcare too. The main drivers of this change will be explained and also how different market players are coping with this new situation. Phonak’s approach to digital transformation will also be discussed..

To view the recording click here

We're Here for You

In order to ensure you're providing the best experience to your clients during these uncertain times, we have created a library of tools,  content and strategy that will enable you to continue to engage with your patients in the most meaningful way possible.

The various communication tools below are now available  to help support you in your conversation with new and existing patients.

The intent is not to view this as a marketing strategy. Instead, the purpose is to recognize it as tools to help you navigate your communication strategy through the Covid-19 situation.

·         Database & Email Letters

·         Website Statements and Blog Post

·         Social Media Support

·         How to Care for your Hearing Aids at Home

·         GP Support Letters

·         Newsletter Templates

·         Educational Reading Material

Click Here to access the materials.

Phonak eAudiology Series - Session No.2: A review of the attitudes towards eAudiology

The second of our 12 part eAudiology webinar series, hosted by Gurjit Singh, Ph.D, looks at the following:

1. Factors motivating teleaudiology in clinical practice. This section of the presentation will review why teleaudiology is likely to have a larger role in clinical practice.

2: A review of attitudes toward teleaudiology. Successful implementation of telemedicine practices in audiology care is dependent on several factors including the attitudes of key stakeholders. This section of the presentation will review qualitative and quantitative research examining the attitudes of clinicians and patients toward teleaudiology.

 3: Audiological outcomes following face-to-face and remote appointments. Evidence-based care posits that a practitioner combines well-researched interventions with clinical experience and ethics, and client preferences and culture to guide and inform the delivery of treatments and services. To this end, this section of the presentation will review evidence from research comparing short-term audiological outcomes following appointments focused on adjustments to hearing aids conducted in a face-to-face or remote fashion.

To view the recording click here

Mindfulness for Wellbeing

9/4/20

Stressed by what’s going on in the current climate? Mindfulness might be the answer. Research shows that when you’re not deliberately paying attention to something, your brain goes into default mode causing increased anxiety and poor communication. Mindfulness can help end this unproductive behaviour.

Different mindfulness practices

As well as practising mindfulness in daily life, it can be helpful to set aside time for a more formal mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness meditation involves sitting silently and paying attention to thoughts, sounds, the sensations of breathing or parts of the body, bringing your attention back whenever the mind starts to wander. Future Learn also provide an online course for learning mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and improve your wellbeing.

Exercise is another effective way that you can do to combat stress. It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.

Activities — such as walking or jogging — that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving. The NHS’s Couch to 5K is a running plan for absolute beginners and will help you gradually work up towards running 5K in just 9 weeks.

Yoga and tai-chi can also help with developing awareness of your breathing. YouTube is a haven of free exercise videos that you can do from the comfort or your home. Channels such as DoYouYoga or ThaiFlow are perfect for at-home exercise.

Additional support for your customers

8/4/20

Marvel Support Page

For additional support for customers with Marvel Hearing Aids, Phonak have created a dedicated Web Page including advice on Mobile Phone compatibility, Bluetooth, SmartApps and frequently asked questions.   

Click here to visit

How to pair with Phonak PartnerMic

Click on the image below to access an informative video for your customers, explaining how to use Phonak PartnerMic. 

Supporting Your Clients with myPhonak App

31/3/20

Remote Support Technology will be a huge support to us all during this time and remote support is a great tool to keep in touch with your clients virtually.

The myPhonak app is the gateway to implementing this service between you and your customers and has lots of great features, including Remote Support, Remote Control and the Hearing Diary.

The Remote Support feature allows you as the hearing care provider to conduct follow-up appointments in real-time with you from the comfort of your own home. You can troubleshoot any problems your client  may be having and make adjustments to their Hearing Aid, to ensure they’re having the best listening experience possible.

With the easy to use Hearing Diary your clients can provide satisfaction and feedback about their listening experiences, the feedback is automatically shared with you so that you and your client can work together to get the most out of their hearing aid.

What’s more, with the Remote Control you can customise listening profiles for different situations. Simply using the slider function allows the wearer to adjust the settings on their hearing aids and save the new scenario, these custom scenarios will then be added to the program list for easy recall.

If you haven’t already integrated this function into your business, here’s a link to get you started:  https://www.phonakpro.com/uk/en/esolutions/apps/myphonak/overview-myphonak.html

A great video to help with setup: https://www.phonakpro.com/com/en/support/other-support/esolutions-support/remote-support/overview-remote-support.html

Once you are up and running, you can also discover how to get the most from this service by working through some of our training modules using your online PhonakPro account: https://www.phonakpro.com/uk/en/resources/counseling-tools/eAudiology/overview-eaudiology.html

We have also created a range of materials to help you share this service with your customers along with the myPhonak App User Guide. Click here to access these materials.

If you don’t already have an account, setting one up is easy. You can do this online yourself – you just need to have your Phonak Account Number. Please reach out to your local RSM should you need help to set this up for you.

 

Getting started with eAudiology

24/3/20

How can you start with eAudiology and Remote Support as quickly as possible?

We bundled the essentials for hearing care professionals on phonakpro.com. The ‘Clinical Implementation Guidelines’ summarize all the essentials needed for a quick start and the ‘ABC's of Audiology guides’ offer targeted support in 10 areas of action.

Click here to access our best practice guidelines

eAudiology F.A.Q's

Who currently qualifies to access eAudiology?

Any Marvel user or customers with Audeo B-Direct

I'm not familiar with eAudiology, do you have any guide to help me?

Click here to access our short self-paces online learning module, which provides a quick introduction to the field of eAudiology Practice. 

Which phones are compatible with eAudiology?

Please click here to visit our Marvel support page to view all the compatible mobile phones.

I can't remember my PhonakPro account login details?

Usernames and passwords can be recovered through the links on the PhonakPro login page. 

How do I set up eAudiology (Remote Support)?

Click here to get started

Guidance on delivering eAudiology services and meeting the audiological needs of patients remotely

24/3/20

Providing access to quality hearing care has long been a priority for Phonak. When we first started the journey into eAudiology and developing products which would enable hearing care professionals and clients to connect in alternate ways, online and remotely, we appreciated the obvious benefits of this service delivery model – time-savings, convenience and increased access to care. As our journey continued, we identified further benefits such as the fact that eAudiology allows for real-time hearing aid setting optimization in real-world environments and enables hearing care businesses to differentiate themselves from competitive threats like OTCs, hearables and internet sales.

COVID-19 revealed new benefits – keeping patients safe and socially connected

While uptake of these alternative models of service delivery has steadily increased since the launch of Phonak eSolutions to market, little did we know just how significant a role these would play, especially in times like these with the current global pandemic of COVID-19. eSolutions like Phonak Remote Support have the capacity to keep hearing care professionals connected with their clients, providing continued quality care, without the threat of infection. This is particularly important for keeping high-risk patients at home.

Social isolation, especially of the elderly with hearing loss, is a well-known concern in our profession. Many of our clients may be feeling even more alone at this time when the recommendation is to stay home altogether, precluding even scheduled visits to their healthcare providers, which they may have been looking forward to. As hearing care professionals, we are in a blessed position to play a pivotal role, not only in attending to their hearing needs, but also in helping sustain their social connectedness and overall emotional well-being.

How to get started

If you are a hearing care professional looking to get setup to practice eAudiology as soon as possible or reading about eAudiology for the first time, why not contact your local Phonak representative to talk you through the process. During this period when clinical load may be reduced, you may also want to schedule some time to browse the range of eAudiology best practice guidelines and Phonak eSolutions resources we have gathered.

Here are my top 3 recommendations to get you up to speed quickly:

  1. ABCs of eAudiology: No. 2 – 10 steps to Optimizing your eAudiology practice environment
    • A step by step guide to help you setup your room and equipment appropriately for best outcomes, as well as considerations for body language and video call etiquette
  2. Phonak Remote Support “How to’s”
    • How to prepare for Remote Support & Hearing Diary – A Phonak Target video guide showing the steps to take to invite clients to a use Remote Support and Hearing Diary
    • How to start a remote support session – Phonak Target video guide to starting a remote support session and connecting to your clients
  3. User Guide: myPhonak app
    • A user guide to installing and using the myPhonak app and its features

Thinking ahead

While eAudiology might sound like a good temporary solution to keep practicing and to maintain your commitment to your clients during this time of uncertainty and isolation, eventually the coronavirus crisis will pass, however the skills you develop will last. This escalation of service expansion to include remote care may have a lasting positive impact on your overall business, yourself as a clinician, and of course the clients you serve.

 

Guidance for employers and businesses on COVID-19 (CoronaVirus)

24/3/20

This Government guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their employees on:

  • The novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • How to help prevent spread of COVID-19
  • What to do if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • Eligibility for sick pay

 

View Government Guidance

Have some questions regarding the running of your business?

Home Schooling

24/3/20

Remote Support Technology will be a huge support to us all during this time and remote support is a great tool to keep in touch with your clients virtually.

The myPhonak app is the gateway to implementing this service between you and your customers and has lots of great features, including Remote Support, Remote Control and the Hearing Diary.

The Remote Support feature allows you as the hearing care provider to conduct follow-up appointments in real-time with you from the comfort of your own home. You can troubleshoot any problems your client  may be having and make adjustments to their Hearing Aid, to ensure they’re having the best listening experience possible.

With the easy to use Hearing Diary your clients can provide satisfaction and feedback about their listening experiences, the feedback is automatically shared with you so that you and your client can work together to get the most out of their hearing aid.

What’s more, with the Remote Control you can customise listening profiles for different situations. Simply using the slider function allows the wearer to adjust the settings on their hearing aids and save the new scenario, these custom scenarios will then be added to the program list for easy recall.

If you haven’t already integrated this function into your business, here’s a link to get you started:  https://www.phonakpro.com/uk/en/esolutions/apps/myphonak/overview-myphonak.html

A great video to help with setup: https://www.phonakpro.com/com/en/support/other-support/esolutions-support/remote-support/overview-remote-support.html

Once you are up and running, you can also discover how to get the most from this service by working through some of our training modules using your online PhonakPro account: https://www.phonakpro.com/uk/en/resources/counseling-tools/eAudiology/overview-eaudiology.html

We have also created a range of materials to help you share this service with your customers along with the myPhonak App User Guide. Click here to access these materials.

If you don’t already have an account, setting one up is easy. You can do this online yourself – you just need to have your Phonak Account Number. Please reach out to your local RSM should you need help to set this up for you.

COVID-19: Keeping Patients safe and socially connected

24/3/20

Social isolation, especially of the elderly with hearing loss, is a well-known concern in our profession. Many of our clients may be feeling even more alone at this time when the recommendation is to stay home altogether, precluding even scheduled visits to their healthcare providers, which they may have been looking forward to. As hearing care professionals, we are in a blessed position to play a pivotal role, not only in attending to their hearing needs, but also in helping sustain their social connections and overall emotional well-being. It’s important now, more than ever, to make contact with all your patients to check in with them and understand if there is anything that they need.

You may already offer phone and email support to your customers, but now is the time to increase your customer service capabilities and ensure your patrons can reach you. For any of your customers with Marvel Hearing Aids, there are fantastic support tools available via the MyPhonak App and eAudiology. Please see below for details. For any customer that doesn't have Marvel products you can still ensure that you stay in touch no matter where they are. Social media is a good place to start, as you can offer the option to chat via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other instant messaging platforms. You can also offer video conferencing options through Skype, Zoom or FaceTime, so your customers can get that "face-to-face" feel without actually being there in-person.

Danielle Glista, PhD, Senior Research Associate and Adjunct Professor at Western University’s National Centre for Audiology in London, Ontario shares a 10 step guide to optimizing your practice environment for connecting with clients remotely (practice setup, video call etiquette & body language) 

Click here to view the study